The great Freeview HD rip-off

When Freeview first hit our TV screens it opened up a whole new world of programming to those of us who remained satellite free. But then came HD and we rushed to get our hands on the latest television that would allow us to enjoy the likes of Emmerdale and Animal Park in high definition.

Top HD TV searches:
  1. Best HD ready TV
  2. Freeview
  3. HD TV explained
  4. Cheap HD TV
  5. HD TV ready
  6. HD channels
  7. Freeview HD
  8. Humax digital
  9. Set top boxes
  10. HD TV programming
Between Freeview and HD though, came a previously unknown (and unannounced) problem. Because the launch of several free HD channels means that your brand spanking new HD-ready TV with built-in set top box will need an upgrade – and at a likely £170 cost that's no laughing matter.

The BBC and other networks will be launching a number of free high-def channels in time for the football feast that is the World Cup this summer and these new HD transmissions will allow viewers to see the inevitable penalties in extraordinary detail. But the Freeview organisation, funded by commercial channels and the public via the BBC, has already been slammed by industry analysts for failing to tell customers.

Technology industry expert Barry Fox told the Daily Mail: "If you bought a TV in the run-up to Christmas it will be described as HD-ready and it will probably have Freeview built-in. Similarly, if you have bought a digital set-top box it will be compatible with current Freeview services. But to watch Freeview HD, you will need either a completely new telly, which has a built-in HD receiver, or a new box that will receive the HD signals."

Good news for the manufacturers of the Humax HD-FOX T2, due to go on sale next month... not such good news for the consumer.

So what will you do? Will you be spending the extra cash to enjoy this summer's sporting highlight in all its glory? And just why is it that the public have not previously been informed of the full facts?